HEALTH BENEFITS OF CASHEW NUTS
Nuts are nutrient rich foods with wide-ranging heart and metabolic benefits, including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and heart attack. Nuts can be readily incorporated into healthy diets.
Cashews are a source of protein, phosphorus, iron and zinc and are high in energy, dietary fibre, monounsaturated fats, magnesium and copper. It is also naturally low in sodium. Here are a few of the health benefits of adding cashew nuts to your diet:
DID YOU KNOW?
- Nuts have a beneficial impact on many heart disease risk factors and may even help in weight loss.
- Cashews are high in energy. A 50g serving of cashews provides 1 267 kilojoules. In addition, cashews are a source of iron and high in magnesium and copper, all of which contribute to a reduction in tiredness and fatigue.
- Cashews contribute to the normal functioning of the immune system, being high in copper, and a source of zinc (both antioxidants).
- By being high in copper and a source of zinc, cashews contribute to the normal maintenance of hair, skin and nails.
- Magnesium and copper assists with the formation and maintenance of normal bones and teeth.
- Cashews are high in dietary fibre, providing more than 3 g per 50 g serving.
- They are high in monounsaturated fatty acids. Replacing saturated fats with monounsaturated fats (MUFAs) in the diet contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.
Cashew nuts are the seeds of the cashew tree, and are native to Brazil’s Amazon rain forest. Although cashew nuts may have originated from Brazil, the Portuguese spread this plant and it is now cultivated in areas with a warm and humid climate. In 2005, the top raw cashew producing country is Vietnam, followed by India, Brazil and many African countries. Montagu’s Cashew are imported from Vietnam.
The Cashew tree bears numerous, edible, pear shaped false fruits or “accessory fruits'” called "cashew apples” which are typically yellow or red, as you can see in the photograph. The cashew nut, which is actually a “true-fruit”, is firmly attached to the bottom end of the cashew-apple, appearing like a clapper in the bell. Botanically, this tiny, bean shaped, grey “true fruit” is a drupe, featuring a hard outer shell enclosing a single edible kernel known commercially as “cashew nut.”